UPDF Troops Reach Kony's Garamba Base

2177 Views Gulu, Uganda
The military offensive against the Lord's Resistance Army in the Democratic Republic of Congo entered its third day on Tuesday with foot soldiers of the joint force of Uganda, Sudanese and Congolese soldiers reaching the rebel base. UPDF spokesman, Chris Magezi, says the ground troops have invaded the rebel camp in the Congolese Garamba Forest. He says a number of casualties were suffered by the LRA in Sunday's aerial bombings, although the exact number is yet to be ascertained. Two abductees - a pregnant 21-year-old woman from the Central African Republic and a 16-year-old Ugandan boy - were rescued during the fighting. Four Congolese fighters among the LRA ranks surrendered to the troops. Magezi says the joint force is air-dropping leaflets written in English and Luo urging the rebels to embrace peace and abandon rebellion. Support for the offensive has come from the United Nations Mission to the Congo (MONUC). According to Magezi, the MONUC commander, General Babacar Gaye has offered to airlift any casualties of the war. The offensive against the LRA started on Sunday in an attempt to force Joseph Kony and his troops to either surrender or sign a peace agreement with the Government of Uganda. The LRA chief negotiator at the stalled Juba peace talks, Nyekorach Matsanga, claims the motives of the joint force is more sinister. He accuses Ugandan troops of invading the Congo to steal minerals and timber. His claims could not be independently verified.